Teaching is at the very core of our Holy Cross tradition of academic excellence. 

Our History

Established in 1991, the Center for Teaching Excellence grew from the desire to continually elevate the learning experience for students at St. Edward’s. Through the center, faculty members come together to share ideas and strategies for successful teaching. They learn practical and inventive ways to improve teaching methods and respond to the various learning needs of students.

Our Mission

The Center for Teaching Excellence promotes effective, innovative, inclusive, and evidence-based college teaching that fosters sustained learning. The Center cultivates a campus culture that values diverse approaches to learning and teaching. It supports faculty in enhancing pedagogical practices and facilitates the exchange of ideas and development of community among faculty.  

Upcoming Events

Our Goals

The Center for Teaching Excellence focuses on a variety of activities designed to support our mission, which include:

  • Advancing new initiatives in teaching and learning
  • Supporting innovative, inclusive teaching that enables student learning
  • Facilitating a culture of continuous teaching improvement
  • Building communities of teaching and learning across campus
  • Providing support for faculty at all stages of their St. Edward's teaching career
  • Recognizing excellence in teaching

Teaching Support Archive of recordings and slides for all CTE and Instructional Technology co-hosted events, as well as additional curated resources.

Director and Advisory Board


Jennifer Jefferson is the Director of the Center for Teaching Excellence. She comes to this role after being a Visiting Assistant Professor in University Studies at St. Edward's University. Previously, she taught at The University of Texas at Austin and Texas State University. Her educational background is in American Studies and Cultural Studies in Education.

She is committed to providing programming and support that is responsive to the St. Edward's community, and she collaborates across campus to address the complex needs of faculty at a liberal arts university. Some of her areas of interest include inclusive course development, reflective practice, and peer learning communities.

Administrative Coordinator

Juanita Servín

Advisory Board

Carsten Andresen, Associate Professor Criminal Justice

Laura Cottam Sajbel, Adjunct Instructor Writing and Rhetoric

Claire Edwards, Assistant Professor Biological Sciences

Kate Lopez, Associate Professor of Accounting

Georgia Seminet, Associate Professor of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures
                                     Associate Dean of Arts and Humanities



The Center for Teaching Excellence offers a variety of programs to improve teaching at the university, including:

2022-2023 Full Event Schedule

Faculty Resources for 2022 to 2023

To help faculty prepare for teaching in this new environment, the Center for Teaching Excellence and the Office of Information Technology will continue to offer guidance and host workshops to help faculty develop and teach courses, whether they are face-to-face, hybrid or online, as well as prepare for the possible contingency of going remote again.

To help keep track of events and information, we offer the following resources:

  • Google Drive archive of recordings and slides for all CTE and Instructional Technology co-hosted events, as well as additional curated resources.
  • Shared Google Calendar with all events related to teaching support, which you can add to your own calendar. Please subscribe to the Teaching Support Events calendar and RSVP to upcoming events. Note: You must subscribe with your St. Edward’s Gmail account.
  • Teaching Forum Closed Workplace Group for faculty to promote conversation and sharing so we can help each other prepare.

​As additional reminders, each event will be posted to the university calendar and to Workplace a few days in advance of the workshop. We hope this approach is helpful to you as we try to manage our summer course design processes and teaching.

4 Connections: Building Community in Our Classrooms
A professional learning community - Meeting Monthly

Want to try out the "4 Connections, " a retention strategy based on intentionally incorporating 4 components into your teaching? Those components include the following:

  1. Learn and use students’ names
  2. Build in spaces for check-ins/feedback
  3. Require one-on-one meetings
  4. Practice Paradox–hold high expectations with some built-in flexibility

Interested in learning more about this approach, trying it out, and chatting with colleagues? Please fill out the form, and I'll set up a meeting or two to orient ourselves, and then we'll make a plan to check in a time or two over the course of the semester


Innovation Institute Workshops and Summer Support
Congratulations on wrapping up the semester! As you transition into summer, I'd like to invite you to join us at Innovation Institute workshops,  facilitated by the CTE and Instructional Technology. Please read about each of the workshops(held in Holy Cross 105) and sign up here.

Technology-Enhanced Student Engagement (Tue, 5/16, 1-2:30 pm)
During this interactive workshop, we will explore and play with different technologies that can be used to increase student engagement in the classroom. We'll discuss when and how to use different tools and best practices for developing technology-enhanced classroom activities and assignments. 

Experiential and Active Learning (Wed, 5/17, 1:30-3:00 pm)
Join us for this discussion of key components of planning experiential and Austin-based classes. We’ll touch on different logistical components–waivers? mission marker?–as well as pedagogical considerations–what do you do when things don’t go as planned?

Making Connections (Thur, 5/18, 1:30-3:00 pm)
How do we help students see the connections between the different components of our classes, such as the readings, activities, and assessments, and the experience that they bring with them? And then, what conversations can we help foster about the connections within their majors, experiences, and entire undergraduate career?

Designing Assessments of All Kinds (Tues, 5/23, 1:30-3:00 pm)
There are multiple ways to assess student learning, yet sometimes we might fall into a pattern of choosing the same format. In this workshop, we’ll explore a variety of ways to check in on your students’ knowledge, application, and synthesis.

Reflection and Experiential Learning (Wednesday, 5/24, 1:30-3:00 pm)
This workshop will focus on creating a framework for helping students critically reflect on their experiences in course-sponsored activities that take place in and outside of class. We'll consider research on ways to scaffold student learning outside of class and strategies for helping students better articulate their experiences through the lens of their academic work.



New Faculty Orientation
Monday, August 15, 8:30 am-3:00 pm, Fleck 305
The Office of Academic Affairs and the Center for Teaching Excellence at St. Edward’s University are happy that you are joining our community. 

Here is our agenda for the day; please note that you will need to sign in with your St. Edward's credentials to access the material.

This orientation should help you get settled into your faculty role at St. Edward's University and will introduce you to new faculty colleagues, as well as colleagues from across campus. We aim to have an engaging day, full of conversation and support. Please let us know if you will be able to join us: Orientation RSVP.


Teaching Symposium 2022
Sustainable Teaching
Thursday, August 18, 9 am-3:00 pm Fleck Hall
Each year, the Center for Teaching Excellence and the Symposium Planning Committee organize an on-campus conference on teaching and learning at St. Edward’s.The conference is planned by St. Edward’s faculty, presentations are proposed and led by St. Edward’s faculty, and it is widely attended by both adjunct and tenure-track faculty as well as administrators and staff.

Here is the schedule for the 2022 Teaching Symposium. Join us for a day of discussion and collaboration!

See the below link for RSVP information.


Podcasts and Coffee
Pick a series that fits into your schedule:
First Wednesday of the month at 1:00 pm (virtual)
Sep. 7
Oct. 5 
Nov. 2
Dec. 7

First Thursday of the month at 3:30 pm (In person)--HCH 105 or outside 
Sep. 8
Oct. 6 - Outdoors
Nov. 3 
Dec. 1
Zoom meeting link for Podcasts and Coffee

Each month, we will listen to an episode of a podcast and come together to discuss the episode (much like we have done with Books and Coffee or different book groups). The goal of this gathering is to engage with scholarship on teaching and learning and talk with colleagues from across campus. Join us!

*The first Thursday meeting will be on the 8th


Take a Break (from grading, planning, etc.) and Chat
Wednesday, September 14th from 10:00-12:00--Lawn in-between Holy Cross Hall and Ragsdale
Join us at an informal check-in. There will be tables set up outside of Holy Cross Hall (in between the building and the seal), and we will chat with colleagues from across campus before heading back to planning/grading/teaching. We'll have drinks and snacks.


Read. Try. Chat. SoTL in Action: Illuminating Critical Moments of Practice
Third Friday of the Month at noon* (in person)--HCH 105
Sep. 16, Oct. 21, Nov. 18, Dec. 9

The Library has the text available; limited paper copies will be purchased, too.

We're bringing this reading and action group back for the fall semester. This "SoTL {Scholarship of Teaching and Learning} primer" provides both a discussion of what SoTL is and highlights what that scholarship may look like in a variety of disciplines. If you are interested in researching teaching practices, this text (and discussion group) could be very helpful in developing a project. This semester, the goal with this group is to have community support as you think through developing a teaching-and-learning-related research project of your own.

* The last Friday meeting will be on December 9th rather than the 16th


Living Out Our Mission: Increasing Our Knowledge and Building a More Inclusive Hilltop
    A Faculty DEI Series
Sponsored by the Faculty Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice Office and the Center for Teaching Excellence

Thursday, October 27th at 12:30 pm in Holy Cross Hall 105
Reflecting on Your Identities and Actions

Wednesday, November 16th at 2:00 pm in Holy Cross Hall 105
Developing a Framework for Understanding Social Identity
RSVP for the Living Out Our Mission Series

We all want to create inclusive and welcoming spaces for our students, colleagues, and community members. However, we might need support to be equipped to create and sustain these spaces. Join us for this series that will help faculty members refine a conceptual framework, reflect on their identities, and increase their ability to act.


Jingle and Mingle
Sponsored by the Faculty Senate Collegiality Committee, the Center for Teaching Excellence, and Instructional Technology
Friday, December 2nd, 4:30-6:00 pm
Cosmic Coffee

Let's "Jingle & Mingle" this holiday season! Buy your own beverages and snacks~then let's chat! The Collegiality Committee, Center for Teaching Excellence, and OIT invite you to Cosmic Coffee on December 2nd from 4:30p-6:00p for a time of celebration and relaxation. We hope to see you there with bells on!


Semester De-Brief and Looking Ahead
Wednesday, December 7th, 9:00-11:00 am
Holy Cross Hall 105

Let's chat about how the semester went, and then you can use our discussion to individually plan for the upcoming spring. Pause your grading to talk with colleagues and jot down some ideas for the future. 


Starting the Semester Strong:  Research-Informed Practices to Guide Your Early Weeks
Friday, January 6th
In-Person: 10-11 am in Holy Cross Hall 105
Virtual 2-3 pm 
Zoom Link

Join this workshop to discuss different frameworks, practices, and strategies for starting the semester strong. We'll offer two versions--in person and one virtual--to best accommodate your schedules. 


Managing Stress and Increasing Mindfulness: A Multi-Part Series
Part Two: Personal Skill Development
Led by Kerrie Taylor, Assistant Professor in Counseling
Friday, January 27th at noon in Holy Cross 105 (with lunch)

Please join us for the second session of the Stress Reduction Mindfulness series hosted by the Center for Teaching Excellence!  This workshop will focus on personal skill development with the aim of reducing stress and increasing mindfulness to help you achieve holistic wellness.  Mindfulness concepts including breathing exercises, cultivating self-compassion, and mindful movement will be discussed and practiced. Additionally, you will received resources to help cultivate greater wellness in your own life. 


RESCHEDULED: AI and Education: A Lunchtime Discussion
Tuesday, February 14, 12:30 - 1:45 pm, Munday Library, North Reading Room

Co-sponsored by the Teaching, Learning, and Technology Roundtable (TLTR), the General Education Writing Program, the Academic Integrity Committee, the Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE), and Instructional Technology 

"Is the college essay dead?" asked Beth McMurtrie in a recent Chronicle article, "AI and the Future of Undergraduate Writing" (13 December 2022) after news broke about the power of Open AI's ChatGPT application. How will artificial intelligence (AI) affect teaching and learning? Will all our students use AI to do their homework? How can we ensure academic integrity? Or is the future of education teaching our students how to use AI effectively? This lunchtime discussion will start from McMurtrie's article and branch out to consider the implications of AI for higher education.


CTE/Instructional Technology Mixer: Let's Talk Applications and Collaborations
Wednesday, February 22nd from 2:30-3:30 in Holy Cross 105
Have a question about a TLTR pilot project? Want to know what the Innovation Fellowship looks like? Interested in collaborating with someone across campus on a teaching and learning research project? Join us at the Applications and Collaborations Mixer! No need to RSVP--drop by and chat!


Systems of Support: A Collaborative Session with Dean of Students, Student Support Services, Student Disability Services, and the Health and Counseling Center
March 2, 2023 at 3:30pm
Main 320: Maloney Room

Alethia Ostfeld, Director of Student Disability Services/504 Deputy Coordinator
Kendall Swanson, Director of Academic Counseling & Support
Jen Wichman, Associate Dean of Students/Director of Student Conduct
Connie Rey Rodriguez, Associate Dean of Students/Director of Student Welfare
Cory Pruitt, Welfare Coordinator
Homer Huerta, Chief/Director of Police Services 
Michael Hershberger, Psychologist/Group Coordinator
Steven Pinkenburg, Dean of Students/Title IX Deputy Coordinator

Join us for this collaborative Center for Teaching Excellence and Student Affairs session, which is designed to help faculty feel more confident in supporting students who are disruptive or distressed both in and outside of the classroom. This interactive session will be grounded in case studies to help faculty better understand processes, hear from colleague expertise, and carefully consider student concerns.


Champion Award for Mission-Informed Teaching
Due March 24, 2023
Application form

The Center for Teaching Excellence is pleased to announce a call for nominations for the 2023 Champion Awards for Mission-Informed Teaching. These awards recognize St. Edward’s faculty whose teaching directly supports the St. Edward's University Mission.

Up to three awards, in the amount of $100, may be given this year. A committee composed of faculty from across campus will select the award recipients; the Director will be a non-voting facilitator of the process. 

Faculty and instructional staff of all disciplines and ranks are encouraged to apply. Past recipients are eligible to apply five years after their previous win.

Please fill out this google form. Please keep your submission to 500 words or less and include specific Mission-informed examples.

Applications are due by Friday, March 24th.

Please note that the Award is open to self-nominations and nominations of colleagues--you can indicate your nominee on the form.


Living Out Our Mission: Increasing Our Knowledge and Building a More Inclusive Hilltop
A Faculty DEI Series

Sponsored by the Faculty Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice Office and the Center for Teaching Excellence
Wednesday, March 29th at 2:00-3:15 pm in Holy Cross 105
Exploring Immigrant Experiences

We all want to create inclusive and welcoming spaces for our students, colleagues, and community members. However, we might need support to be equipped to create and sustain these spaces. Join us for this series that will help faculty members refine a conceptual framework, reflect on their identities, and increase their ability to act.


Call for Teaching Symposium Proposals: Due Friday, March 31, 2023

St. Edward's University Teaching Symposium, Thursday Aug 24, 2023
Teaching Symposium Proposal Submission

The planning committee invites proposals that address any aspect of teaching, including:

* pedagogy * research * mentorship * collaboration & community * innovation & technology 
* service learning * diversity & inclusion * administration

We especially encourage collaborative panels that exemplify different teaching strategies and challenges that you have addressed in your teaching. Potential topics might include: What’s your teaching passion? How do you keep things fresh in the classroom? What new teaching methods have you used that were effective? How will you incorporate dimensions of the new strategic plan into your classes or your department? 


AI in Teaching: What conversations, policies, and assignments are faculty having, developing, and using?

April 5th at noon (lunch provided)
North Reading Room in the Munday Library

Alan Christopher, Marketing
Jena Heath, Journalism
Bilal Shebaro, Computer Science

Sponsored by the Center for Teaching Excellence and Instructional Technology

How can we help our students think about and use AI tools with a critical eye? How can we prepare our students for careers where they will partner with AI to solve problems? What kinds of assignments and/or activities cane we craft that help students explore AI in an ethical, and socially just manner? A panel of faculty from across the institution will share their innovative AI assignments and/or other useful resources that can help us think about teaching with AI. 


CLiMB (Community Learning in Mentorship and Beyond) Mix-and-Match
Sponsored by FCDI, CTE and Office of Faculty DEIJ
Friday, April 14th from 2:00-3:30
Fleck 305

We invite ALL faculty to join us at the CLiMB Mix and Match event. Faculty will interact with colleagues and engage in dialogue about mentoring topics, creating mentoring communities, and the pairing process. Let's celebrate our learning, fellowship, and network.

Mentoring pairs and peer mentoring communities will begin in Fall 2023. Let's CLiMB  together!  Find the CLiMB Program Guidelines here.


Take a Break (from grading, planning, advising, etc.) and Chat
POSTPONED: New Date Tuesday, April 18 from 10:00-12:00--Lawn in-between Holy Cross Hall and Ragsdale

Wanna chat? Enjoy a cup of coffee? Escape your office for a bit? There will be tables set up outside of Holy Cross Hall (in-between the building and the seal), and we will chat with colleagues from across campus before heading back to planning/grading/teaching. We'll have drinks and snacks. 


How do faculty across campus share research on their teaching? A workshop on the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning

April 20th at 12:30
Holy Cross Hall 105

Amy Concillo, Environmental Studies and Policy
Katy Goldey, Psychology and Neuroscience
Mary Dunn, Management


Join us for this hybrid panel/open discussion mixer to combine a discussion of what colleagues across campus have researched, presented on, and published related to teaching and learning.  Then, take that inspiration to chat with colleagues about potential projects or collaborations (on research ideas, in writing groups, etc).


Faculty Recognition Gathering
(sponsored by the Office of Academic Affairs, the Center for Teaching Excellence, the Department of Instructional Technology, and the Office of Sponsored Programs)
Wednesday, April 26th at 4:00 pm
Mabee Ballrooms

Please join us in celebrating the outstanding accomplishments of our friends and colleagues across the university at the 2023 Faculty Recognition Gathering on Wednesday, April 26 at 4:00 pm in the Mabee Ballrooms. The program will open with the awards presentation and will be followed by a reception with refreshments and beverages.


Books and Coffee: Distracted: Why Students Can't Focus and What You Can Do About It 
A Professional Learning Community

2 groups:
Last Wednesday of the month from 1:00-2:00 (virtual)

Jan. 25, Feb. 22, Mar. 29, Apr. 26
Last Thursday of the month from 3:30-4:30 (in person; Holy Cross 105 or outside)
Jan. 26, Feb. 23, Mar. 30, Apr. 27

Books and Coffee meets over the course of a semester to discuss chapters from a book, with group members taking turns leading discussions. Anyone who teaches is welcomed to sign up to join our group. We will be reading Distracted: Why Students Can't Focus and What You Can Do About It by James Lang. Here is a description from the publisher's website:

Why is it so hard to get students to pay attention? Conventional wisdom blames iPhones, insisting that access to technology has ruined students’ ability to focus. The logical response is to ban electronics in class.

But acclaimed educator James M. Lang argues that this solution obscures a deeper problem: how we teach is often at odds with how students learn. Classrooms are designed to force students into long periods of intense focus, but emerging science reveals that the brain is wired for distraction. We learn best when able to actively seek and synthesize new information.

In Distracted, Lang rethinks the practice of teaching, revealing how educators can structure their classrooms less as distraction-free zones and more as environments where they can actively cultivate their students’ attention.

Should lend itself to wonderful conversations!


Managing the Stress Cycle: In and Out of the Classroom
Led by Dr. Kerrie Taylor, Assistant Professor of Counseling
Friday, April 28th, 12:00-1:30 pm
Holy Cross 108

The focus will be on mindful connection with individuals and groups to aid in effective communication with students in-and-outside of the classroom.  Participants will learn skills to help respond effectively to stressful interactions in the classroom and meetings.


Read. Try. Chat: What Inclusive Instructors Do 
A Professional Learning Community 
First Tuesday of the month at 12:30 (bring lunch; we'll provide drinks and dessert) 

Feb. 7, Mar. 7, Apr. 4, May 2

Read.Try. Chat. is designed as a reading group where we read a text together and then try out (or make plans to try out) exercises, activities, and approaches within our own teaching. The text selected for the spring semester, What Inclusive Instructors Do, is designed nicely for this approach--each chapter has embedded reflection questions to help each person dig a little more into their teaching practices. Faculty will be able to direct their reflective processes to best support their interests and growth--really looking forward to exploring this book with folks!


Previous CTE Program Schedules:

Teaching Awards and Innovation Fellows

Teaching Awards

Given annually, teaching excellence awards at St. Edward's University honor faculty for their exceptional talents and dedication to promoting learning in meaningful, engaging and innovative ways. The selection process is rigorous, evaluating candidates' course offerings, curricular designs, instructional methods, classroom performances, and interactions with students.

Five awards are given annually:

2021-2022 Teaching Winners

Mary Rist
Mary Rist
Sister Donna Jurick 
Distinguished Career Award


Shannon Pleasant
Shannon Pleasant
Outstanding Teaching Award
Katherine Goldey
Katherine Goldey
Distinguished Teaching Award
Rodrigo Nunes
Rodrigo Nunes
Distinguished Teaching Award 
Jimmy Luu & Sasha West
Jimmy Luu & Sasha West
DeLayne Hudspeth Award




Innovation Fellows

Innovation fellowships support faculty who need time, resources and expertise to include pedagogical experimentation in their courses by providing a stipend, participation in the Innovation Institute, and a community of faculty fellows focused on pedagogical innovation.

Learn about our Innovation Fellows and their projects

Read about past fellows.

Hudspeth Award for Innovative Instruction

Delayne Hudspeth, retired professor of Curriculum and Instruction and Instructional Technology at the University of Texas, was a mentor to several St. Edward's faculty members and scores of other master's and doctoral students. Through the generosity of an anonymous donor, Dr. Hudspeth's contributions to innovation in higher education are honored by this award. 

The CTE would like to invite you to apply for the Delayne Hudspeth Award for Innovative Instruction. The award, open to all who teach, including full-time (tenure-track and non-tenure-track), part-time, adjunct, and staff who teach, is determined by a panel representing schools across campus and carries a $500 stipend. The application is a Google Form and is due March 11, 2022. Please see below for more details.

Delayne Hudspeth Award for Innovative Instruction 
Deadline: March 11, 2022
Application Form

Who can apply: This award recognizes St. Edward’s instructors who create innovative learning environments and projects. All teaching faculty members -- including full-time (tenure-track and non-tenure-track), part-time, adjunct, and staff who teach -- are encouraged to apply. Previous Award winners will be considered for the Hudspeth Award five years after their previous win.

What projects are eligible: Self-nominations should highlight a specific project, an assignment or exercise, a teaching method, a new use of technology, or the redesign of an entire class.

Instructors may apply for the award based on an innovation implemented in any of the three years previous to the application deadline. For this year's award, projects implemented in any of the following semesters will be eligible:

  • Academic year 2018-2019, including Fall 2018, Spring 2019, and Summer 2019
  • Academic year 2019-2020, including Fall 2019, Spring 2020, and Summer 2020
  • Academic year 2020-2021, including Fall 2020, Spring 2021, and Summer 2021
  • Fall 2021

What should the application highlight: Since this award celebrates innovation, preference will be given to projects that demonstrate the greatest levels of innovation and that clearly present the value of that innovation for student learning. Note that the committee does not equate innovation with adoption of new technologies. While some winning projects have featured new uses of technology, many have not.  Please review the Google form before you start crafting your application, as it will help guide you in showcasing your project.

When do you need to submit the application: Please fill out the Google Form by end of the day on Monday, March 11, 2022.

How will a winner be determined: The winner and finalist for the award will be decided upon by the members of Hudspeth Awards Committee. The committee is comprised of representatives from across the university's schools. Applications are blind-reviewed, scored according to the selection criteria, and then discussed until the committee achieves consensus. 

Questions? If you have any questions about the award or would like to discuss your application, please contact Jennifer Jefferson jennej@stedwards.edu. Jennifer facilitates the award process, but is not a voting member.